PRECIOUS-Gold slips on dollar strength after two sessions of gains

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower in Asian trade on
Tuesday after two sessions of gains, dragged down as the U.S.
dollar strengthened.
    * Spot gold had dropped 0.3 percent to $1,256.30 an
ounce by 0053 GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures fell 0.2 percent to $1,258.40 an
    * The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1 percent at
    * The dollar firmed in early Asian trading on Tuesday, while
recently beleaguered sterling stayed close to recent lows on
continuing fears about the likely impact on Britain from exiting
the European Union. 
    * The European Central Bank's exit from its ongoing asset
purchase programme would largely depend on economic data, ECB
policymaker and Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said on
    * Gold miner SolGold Plc said on Monday that an
offer from global miner BHP Billiton Plc, to
buy a stake in the company was not in its best interest.
    * The Philippines will cancel the environmental permit of a
nickel miner that began operations this year, a minister said,
as the government intensifies a campaign to punish mineral
producers harming natural resources. The environment agency also
reviewed the certification of other projects, including the
Tampakan gold-copper mine. 
    * Avocet Mining Plc says it has entered into a
conditional joint venture agreement regarding its gold project
in Guinea, known as Tri-k, with a subsidiary of Managem SA.
    * Mali's government ordered Randgold Resources on
Monday to pay half the 46.89 billion CFA francs ($80 million) it
says the London-listed miner owes it before opening talks about
the remaining sum. Randgold said it continued to engage to
resolve the tax issues in Mali.  
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    * Oil prices edged down early on Tuesday but held near
one-year highs touched on growing expectations of an output cut
by OPEC producers, and traders said the price outlook remains
bullish as confidence in crude markets rises. 
    0900  Germany      ZEW economic sentiment        October
    1000  U.S.         NFIB business optimism        September  

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph